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Middle East

ISIS chief calls on world’s Muslims to move to ‘Caliphate’ in Iraq, Syria

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-07-01

The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) on Tuesday called on the world’s Muslims to immigrate to the territory seized by the Sunni militant group in Iraq and Syria to help build a new Islamic State.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made the call in a 19-minute audio recording posted online, saying: “Muslims, rush to your state. Yes, it is your state.”

He made a special call to skilled workers, such as scholars, judges, doctors, engineers and people with military and administrative expertise.

With brutal efficiency, the al Qaeda splinter group has in recent weeks carved out a large chunk of territory that has effectively erased the border between Iraq and Syria.

On Sunday, it claimed it had established a caliphate in the region stretching from the northern Syrian city of Aleppo to the Iraqi town of Diyala, near the Iranian border and demanded Muslims worldwide to pledge allegiance to it.

Baghdadi had been chosen as the ruling caliph, or head of state, the group said, thereby becoming the “leader for Muslims everywhere”.

By declaring the establishment of a caliphate, the group claims to be the successor of the political and religious community originally established by the Prophet Mohammad.

The caliphate is a powerful ideal — the concept of a nation of Muslims worldwide ruled by Shariah law under a caliph who holds both spiritual and secular authority.

There have been multiple caliphates over Islam's 1,400-year history, with the greatest Muslim empires ruling from Morocco to Central Asia.

The caliphate was abolished when the Ottoman empire collapsed in 1924.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP, REUTERS)
 

Date created : 2014-07-01

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